I’m a huge lover of growing and using herbs year round on our homestead. During the growing season, I have several large garden plots dedicated to herbs. And during the winter season or cooler months, I grow herbs on my kitchen windowsill.
Using herbs for their many benefits and medicinal properties is something that I am passionate about. But, equally as awesome is including these herbs into our diet. And one of my favorite methods of food preservation is through fermentation.
Are you looking for additional ways to preserve your herbal harvest?
Do you want to add ways to gain the most nutritional value from your herbs?
In this post, I’m sharing how I ferment herbs and including a recipe for fermented basil pesto.
Fermenting herbs is very simple and doesn’t take very long to do. All you need are your herbs, and a basic salt & water brine.
How to Ferment Herbs
The following simple recipe is for fermenting basil to make a pesto sauce, but the same method can be applied to any herb of choice.
I make my fermented basil by filling a small Mason jar, either 4 oz , 8 oz or 12 oz in size. This varies depending on how much basil you are using for the recipe. And you’ll want to adjust the amount of salt you’re using according to the size of the jar you’re using.
Add in enough basil leaves to fill your Mason jar. Next, add in 2-3 sliced garlic cloves and add in 1/2 -1 tablespoons of sea salt. Cover your ferments with filtered water, making sure that your herbs stay below the brine. And allow to ferment at room temperature for 3-5 days. Ensure that you’re checking on your ferments periodically.
Now, there are many options to use up your fermented basil. Some of my favorites are to mix it up in antipasto salad. And another is to use it up to make a pesto sauce.
Fermented Basil Pesto
- Approximately 8 oz of fermented basil, including the fermented garlic
- 4 oz of pine nuts or walnuts
- 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2-1 cup of olive oil
- Drain your fermented herbs.
- Add your parmesan cheese pine nuts or walnuts to a food processor and pulse until well combined.
- Mix in your fermented basil. If you don’t have quite enough fermented herbs or you want to include a little bit of freshness to this recipe, you can substitute for some fresh basil.
- Next, slowly add in olive oil while pulsing your pesto together. Add a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
Serve mixed in with a pasta salad, antipasto salad, or cold pasta of choice. You don’t want to heat up the pesto because that will kill the beneficial bacteria that fermentation leaves behind. This recipe also makes an excellent addition to bruschetta.